Review by Booklist Review
Peripatetic florist Merrick's first book a love story to flowers, and finding beauty in the humblest of places is a composite of journals, lists, practical advice, and photographs and illustrations of both plain and fancy blooms and greens. The book's seven sections how to select flowers, the story of an arrangement, in the city, in the country, fancy things, humble pleasures, and going far away mirror her lives: as a florist, as a resident of Manhattan and her family's summer home, as a traveler, and as an observer of the spectacular and the everyday. The best way to describe this very personal publishing contribution is through Merrick's own words. A miniature vase is a witty wink for a small stem. Use clippings and ask permission to be a gracious forager, she advises. At first glance, sunflowers have no secrets. Poppies are nearly narcotic in a vase. And she shares an untranslatable Japanese phrase about cherry blossoms. This is as much to be experienced as to be read.--Barbara Jacobs Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Merrick, a stylist turned florist, delivers an homage to all things flower-related in this opulent scrapbook-style gift book that will inspire creativity in some, and envy in others, toward the Instagram-ready lifestyle it portrays. Merrick's trendy use of unstructured, wild-looking bouquets are a key part of the book, as are her accounts how she acquired and honed her style--at Elmwood, her family's summer home in New Hampshire; by collaborating with a Japanese florist in a flower-arranging class; designing informal arrangements for small social events; and picking wildflowers in a Brooklyn parking lot. The perfectly curated evocation of another, more genteel era, through china teacups, gingham wallpaper, and ginger jars--as well as, of course, floral arrangements--should prove seductive to many readers. In one of the most memorable essays, Merrick vividly recalls describing the "smallest bedroom" (her own) where "from my pillow (with its antique, lace-trimmed case), I can watch the moon rising over the lake and see a thousand stars glow over the mountains." There is plenty of aspirational appeal to Merrick's flawless, seemingly effortless arrangements, but longtime floral enthusiasts may find a sense of the perspirational lacking from her expertly appointed guide. (Oct.)
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